Teaching public health related to the elderly

A. Mark Clarfield

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Scopus citations


    It has become axiomatic that the world is aging, not just in the developed countries (1), but in the less developed regions as well (2). In 1992 the global elderly population (age 65+) was estimated to be almost 350,000,000 persons, or more than 6% of the world total. During that year the net balance of the world's elderly grew by more than 800,000 persons each month. Projections to the year 2010 indicate that the net monthly gain will rise to more than 1.1 million elderly people. In the early 1990s, 26 countries had more than 2,000,000 elderly persons. The projections suggest that this number could increase to more than 50 nations by the year 2025. And this increase in number of elderly leads to an absolute rise in problems of age-related diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and osteoporosis (with related falls and fractures). At the same time, there is a school of thought that emphasizes the elderly are living longer and healthier lives through better awareness of healthy nutrition, exercise, and other lifestyle factors, as well as improving access to modern medical care that is itself more effective than in previous decades. While the public health practitioner will not be called upon to treat individuals with these pathologies, it is important to know something about them in order to understand their effect on health care systems and to help plan for preventive and health promotion programmes. The preparation of the public health person requires an understanding of these issues and thus some tools for program development for primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention for this high-risk group.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)271-276
    Number of pages6
    JournalPublic Health Reviews
    Issue number1-4
    StatePublished - 1 Dec 2002


    • Diseases of aging
    • MPH training

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Community and Home Care
    • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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